Copyright ⓒ Janne Malinen. All rights reserved.

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CD REVIEWS (English, Finnish)


Fanfare Magazine (USA) June 2010.


There are many recordings of songs for voice and lute on the market, for men especially the countertenor, but some regular tenor as well. Peter Pears recorded a fine recital on RCA recently re-given that Michael Ullman approved of (31:3); Andreas Scholl charmed Lynn René Bayley in an album called Crystal Tears (32:2) on Harmonia mundi; and Robin Blaze entertains on the Hyperion release English Lute Songs (23:5). All of these are fine efforts that take a slightly different approach in terms of accompaniment. Indeed, what we get on this new release is guitar only, but one that is played with style and pizzazz.

What I like most about the album, which contains a mixture of songs and solo guitar pieces, is the voice of tenor Robin Tritschler. Most tenors that I have heard in this repertory have voices that are light and airy, sometimes seeming to float away. Tritschler’s is of a heavier mold, often resonating with baritonal weightiness that I think suits this music perfectly, especially in Dowland, where the composer’s often somber sentiments lend themselves nicely to this kind of treatment. But the fun doesn’t stop there; give a listen to Robert Johnson’s Shakespearian settings of Full Fathom Five and Where the Bee Sucks for examples of superb word painting and careful attention to textual detail. And I am so glad that Philip Rosseter’s Fantasia was included as well, a wonderfully evocative piece of great substance that demonstrates his highly-skilled abilities on the lute and his mastery of variation form, the work culled from Jane Pickeringe’s Lute Book.

I did not know what to expect when I first put on this album, and prepared myself to be bored and/or frustrated, but it is an unalloyed delight from start to finish and should provide anyone wanting to delve into this repertory and hour of quality diversion. The voice-guitar and guitar-alone tracks were recorded in two separate churches, and the ones with voice are slightly more resonant, to nice effect. The booklet shamefully omits information about the artists, though I was able to find on the web that Tritschler won the Lieder Prize at the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the lieder prize at the Internationaal Vocalisten Concours in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, (as well as being awarded 3rd place overall) and, most recently, 2nd Prize at the 2007 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. Janne Malinen, again from the web, began classical guitar studies (1987) in the music institute of Savonlinna under the guidance of teacher Pentti Malinen. His professional studies ended in 2001 when he graduated from the Masters Degree Programme at the Sibelius – Academy with excellent grades with Jukka Savijoki as his teacher, and the Postgraduate Performance Diploma and LRAM-teachers programme from London Royal Academy of Music with Michael Lewin, Timothy Walker and John Mills as his teachers.

These guys may be relatively new on the scene, but their music-making is superb, and this album can be enthusiastically recommended.



Classical Guitar Magazine (UK) 2009/June


The opening Minoru work was written for the Japanese Koto in 1973 and arranged for guitar shortly after. Wonderfully evocative, this was hauntingly played by Malinen and is a great opener for this CD.  The Bogdanovic is folk-like in its inspiration, beginning with a loud brash and acerbically harmonised little piece followed by a slow and emotionally moving one of great contrast. This starkness of contrast was continued through the entire set finishing with a sixth miniature hat closed with great swathes of violent strumming. Nothing is simple to play here and great virtuosity is needed throughout, althought the music is often repetitive and easy to understand in itself. The Domeniconi has been recorded a number of times before and is a companion piece in style to his more famous Coyunbaba. It received a fine performance here. Sufi Dance is a startling piece by the British composer Jonathan Harvey; it's very short and inhabits a violent sound world far removed from our shores. Swansea-born Damien Rees' Bram is one of a set of three Sketches from Swansea Sands and is described in the notes as a distorted set of variations on a fragment of a Welsh folk tune and recalls in style the sound world evoked by hearing his father play folk and blues when he was groving up. It is  an interesting work that really grows on the listener. The work that gives the CD its title is by Finnish-born Tommi Kärkkäinen and is a ten-minute-plus piece that really belies the 'fragile' nature of its title consisting often violently abrupt groups of notes that seem to have  no development or to indeed have any rhyme or reason. As with many modern pieces that are atonal in all but name, its apparently fragmentary nature left me bewildered and utterly unable to understand why my ears had to be assaulted for more than ten-and-a-half minutes at a time. The fact that our performer named his CD after this piece seemed to suggest that I have utterly missed the point. No doubt I did, but I still fail to see how this piece can be considered art. No doubt there are many of you out there who will dissagree with me and therefore I can only say that the performance was exemplary. The Iannarelli was Satiesque with its title of Three Miles Sketches, and yet having seven separate movements, three Sketches, a Preludio, two Interludios and a Postludio in memory of Miles Davis. Fabulous! The music evoked to a certain extend the jazz world of Miles Davis and with it use of certain unusual tunings managed to sound very exotic indeed throughout.

The Majority of this CD was oriental in its harmonic sound. Much of it was very entertaining and enjoyable and all of it was beautifully played captured in sound. There is probably very little the listener will have heard before and as such I can generally recommend this CD as an exiting excursion to exotic.



Helsingin Sanomat 31.12.2006


”Tommi Kärkkäisen rummutteluun yltyvän Fragilian mukaan nimetty levy on täysosuma. Janne Malisen taiturillisissa käsissä kitarasta puhkeaa loputtoman sävykäs, harvinaisen kauniisti äänitetty sointimaailma. Jazzista, rockista tai kansanmusiikista kimmokkeensa saaneet kappaleet on valittu taiten.”



Aksentti 2/2007


”...Myös tulkinnallisesti tarkastellen Malisen virtuoosinen soitto on kansainvälistä huipputasoa. Tästä kertoo myös albumin kunnianhimoinen ohjelmisto, joka koostuu yksinomaan elävien säveltäjien tuotannosta.

... Janne Malisen Fragilia-levy on musiikillinen aarreaitta niin kitaramusiikkiin vihkiytyneille kuin vähemmän alaa tuntevillekin.”



Karjalainen 24.2.2007


”...Todellista kulttuuritekoa edustaa myös Janne Malisen cd Fragilia. Malinen on erinomainen muusikko, joka levyllä yltää monipuoliseen, teknisesti hallittuun ja tulkinnallisesti syvälliseen ilmaisuun. ... Kitaran parhaat piirteet pääsevät esille nimenomaan tämänkaltaisia äänitteitä kuuntelemalla, joissa hyvin tehty tuottamisvaihe korostaa kitaran livenä joskus yksitotista ja dynamiikaltaan niukahkoa ilmettä antaen mahdollisuuden laajempaan dynaamiseen skaalaan sekä soinnillisten erojen alleviivaamiseen. Näissä levyllä onkin onnistuttu erinomaisesti. Tämä levy on löydyttävä jokaisen kitaramusiikin ystävän hyllystä.”



Rondolehden verkkosivut


Levyn nimiteos, Tommi Kärkkäisen Fragilia erottuu joukosta edukseen monessa suhteessa, etenkin monipuolisuudessa. Herkän teoksen raju loppu perkussioefekteineen on yllättäen sellaista tilutusta, että jos Malisella olisi sähkökitara, hän nostaisi jalan monitorikaapille. Tekniikaltaan Malinen tuntui aluksi hieman karkeammalta kuin muut Suomen huippukitaristit, mutta nyt olen alkanut innostua hänen ilmaisuvoimastaan. Tarkka ja teosten sävyjä tukeva äänitys sekä huoliteltu ulkoasu jättävät Pilfink Recordsista laadukkaan vaikutelman.



Yle1 Uudetlevyt 25.1.2007


”...Kaikkiaan kyse on loistokitaristista, joka tavoittaa postmodernin melankolian sävyt luontevasti ja tiluttaa virtuoosikuvioita kursailematta.”



Opettaja 21/2008


"...Vuosikymmenien takaiset harvat tekijä(miehet) ovat saaneet ovat viime aikoina saaneet seuraajikseen  useita korkean luokan taitajia. Janne Malinen on yksi heistä. Hän ei asetu turvaistuimeen, vaan lataa teosvalikoiman vaativimmasta päästä. Moderni kieli tekee vaikutuksen.



JANNE MALINEN

K I T A R A T A I T E I L I J A

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